Rediscovering Prayer

by Addison Bevere

June 2, 2024

Separator Words with God by Addison Bevere
Can Prayer Overcome Anxiety?

“Anxiety in a man’s heart weighs him down, but a good word makes him glad.”

— Proverbs 12:25

For this week’s prayer guide, I want to offer something that is simple but not easy. 

As I was praying for you, my thoughts kept gravitating toward the weight of anxiety. I’ve navigated anxiety more often than I’d care to admit. Among other things, it has cost me thousands of hours of sleep. My lack of presentness, however, is the greatest price. To be honest, I don’t remember much from one of my daughter’s first years of life because my anxious consciousness was somewhere else.By God’s grace, I’m starting to see anxiety for what it is, and I now trade much less time and energy for what the psalmist calls the “bread of anxious toil.” I’m re-learning a childlike trust that extends beyond what I can build or control with my mind and hands, and living prayer has become the antidote to anxiety, my reasonable response when life lies beyond my control.

Response

In what I used to view as an annoyingly chipper passage, Paul gives us a framework for freedom from anxiety (Philippians 4:4–13). I would read this passage, memorize it, pray through it, and claim its promised peace for myself. But nothing really changed. It took me a while to realize I was missing Paul’s big point. I wanted the peace—don’t we all!— but I didn’t want to actually release my cares, worries, or anxieties to God. Letting go felt risky and foolish. I wanted to hedge my bets.

I didn’t understand that God required a trade: I wouldn’t be grasped by His peace until I released what I was grasping onto.

Closing Thoughts

Peter describes the Accuser as a roaring lion, searching out ways to devour your thoughts and destroy your life. Our countermove is to cast our cares on God, knowing He cares for us (1 Peter 5:5–10). 

Both Paul and Peter call us to reorient ourselves in the humility and confidence of grace. A grace that cuts through life’s ambiguities. A grace that redeems the anxiousness that comes with fragility, transforming anxiety into just another part of the human experience, a sacred space where we discover that God’s power truly does its best work through our surrendered weakness.

Praying with you,

Addison

Separator Words with God by Addison Bevere

P.S. I write a good amount on anxiety and prayer in my book Words with God, specifically in the chapter “I Am Here.” If you’re new to this community or don’t have the book yet, just click here to get your copy (it’s available via book, eBook, and audiobook).

P.P.S. If you’d like to also receive these prayer guides via text, click here.

Sunday Entries

On most Sundays, I share a short prayer guide, offering words and practices that will help you see, hear, and experience more of God in your daily life. I’d love for you to join us.

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The Entries

It’s true that the good we are seeking doesn’t often come on our timetable, but Scripture tells us we can believe anything is possible because Jesus’s resurrection power brings certainty, a certainty that overcomes every fear, anxiety, and pain, including death.

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It took me a while to realize I was missing Paul’s big point. I wanted the peace—don’t we all!— but I didn’t want to actually release my cares, worries, or anxieties to God. Letting go felt risky and foolish. I wanted to hedge my bets.

Continue Reading →

When you feel anxious or ill-equipped this week, pull out the paper and pray through these words, receiving them as your own. Take a few deep breaths as you ask the One who searches and knows all things to guide you forward.

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06.11.23

“I’ve been thinking a lot about circles lately. So much of life is defined by circles—our days, week, months, and years form circles for us to move in and through. We’re constantly reminded that the end of a thing has a way of taking us back to a beginning. It would seem the cosmos announces the Circle as God’s shape of choice…”

Addison Bevere is the COO of Messenger International, a ministry founded by John and Lisa Bevere in 1990 that exists to develop uncompromising followers of Christ who transform our world. Messenger is dedicated to providing people with access to life-transforming messages regardless of their location, language, or financial position.

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Addison Bevere

Husband, father, author, poet, speaker & follower of Christ

addison-thumbnail-2021
Addison Bevere

Husband, father, author, poet, speaker & follower of Christ

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